Tyler & Rochelle Sponaugle | Local Wedding Showcase

How did you and your spouse meet, and how long have you been together? “Tyler and I have been together for eight years and married for 10 months. We met in fourth grade when I moved to Mineral City. Despite always living within a mile of one another, we never seemed to cross paths. Fast forward to 2011, after each of us moved to different cities and attended different colleges, we finally connected. 

How did you and your spouse meet, and how long have you been together?
“Tyler and I have been together for eight years and married for 10 months. We met in fourth grade when I moved to Mineral City. Despite always living within a mile of one another, we never seemed to cross paths. Fast forward to 2011, after each of us moved to different cities and attended different colleges, we finally connected. During winter break from Cleveland State University, where he was earning his Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree, Tyler decided to meet up with some friends for a drink at Quaker Steak and Lube in Canton. Guess who was bartending that evening? Me! That night, we finally hung out and connected while debating over who is the best X-Man and numerous other topics. The rest is history …”

Tell us how you fell in love … and when you knew it was meant to be …
“We fell in love on our first official date after talking for about two weeks. I lied about knowing how to snowboard to impress Tyler, who I found out was an avid snowboarder after doing some “research” on his Facebook. I invited him to go snowboarding and hoped he would say no. Well, I was wrong, and he said yes! Immediately, I started freaking out because I hate being cold and have no idea how to snowboard. Finally, I told Tyler the truth about my inexperience … halfway through our drive to the resort. He didn’t understand how I was decked out head to toe in snowboarding gear. I had to explain to him that I borrowed all my gear from a friend to look the part. Needless to say, that evening consisted of one kind of successful trip down the bunny hill, a bruised tailbone and nonstop laughing. I fell in love with Tyler that evening when I realized how patient and caring he was with trying to get me down the bunny hill standing up. Tyler fell in love with me that evening when he realized how adventurous and motivated I was. P.S. We still go snowboarding at least once a year, and I still haven’t gotten much better.”

Give us proposal details …
“After a ‘brief’ six-year relationship, two dogs and a house, Tyler finally proposed. It was my 31st birthday, and we were in Siesta Key, Florida. One of our favorite places to go is the gulf side of Florida to look for fossilized shark teeth. We always dream to find a large megalodon shark tooth. My birthday morning, we went to the beach to have mimosas and read books. About an hour into our morning, I started asking Tyler ‘What are you waiting for?’ and ‘When are you going to finally propose?’ Tyler kept dodging my questions and wanted to go back to our condo. Eventually, I gave in and we started back to the condo. We got near our place, he pointed out a small black object. ‘Look at that rock!’ I looked at it and said, ‘That’s not a rock; it’s a megalodon tooth!’ and picked it up. When I turned it over, it said ‘Will you marry me?’ and Tyler was on one knee. I don’t even remembering saying ‘yes,’ but apparently, I did.”

When and where did you get married?
“We got married Saturday, September 14, 2019, at Columbia Woodlands in Dover. It’s a 400-wooded acre luxury resort with cabins, glamping tents and an event center. The activities the resort provides are nearly endless. We had the resort for the weekend for us and our closest loved ones.”

Tell us all about the wedding details—and don’t leave out your favorite moment from the big day!
“The main goal of our wedding was to have it as personalized as possible, from my parents creating almost all of the décor to using my great grandmothers diamonds for my wedding band. The morning started out with brunch and mimosas and getting ready with our wedding parties. Our favorite part of the wedding was our first look. I really wanted a first look so it would be a private moment with us, but Tyler wanted it traditional. After nonstop pestering, he finally caved and said he would do the first look. Little did he know I was going to give him his wish. I asked one of his best men to do the first look in a wedding dress and veil. Tyler had no idea, and it was priceless! The outside ceremony went flawlessly with my cousin officiating. We wrote our own vows referencing ‘The Office’ and ‘Harry Potter’ and exited the ceremony area to Queen’s ‘You’re My Best Friend.’ Almost all of our decorations were made by my parents, including a custom flower wall for photo backdrop, custom floral/moss covered centerpieces and a hall of photos highlighting our relationship through the years. The reception started with the groomsmen entering wearing custom Browns jerseys, aside from Tyler’s best man, who unfortunately is a Steelers fan. The main focus of the night was on desserts. We had homemade cookies, a donut wall, wedding cake, cupcakes and a local ice cream truck. Halfway through the night, I changed into my second dress, which was a gift from my mom as a surprise after she saw me admiring it at the store, a pink tulle off the shoulder gown. The night flew by, and it was an event we will never forget.”

What are you looking forward to most in your marriage?
“Learning more from one another and helping each other achieve our goals. We look forward to seeing what life will throw at us as a couple and individually so we can strengthen our bond. I’d like to finally learn how to snowboard.”

What advice would you offer to other couples?
“Communicate, communicate, communicate. The answers are always there even if you don’t think they are. You just have to start talking and see where it goes. Don’t be afraid to talk openly or be vulnerable. At the end of the day, that person has your back.”

As told by Rochelle Sponaugle and edited to fit. Photos are by Brittany Humes Photography.

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass